What If Women Ruled the World

What If Women Ruled the World

Recently, I took a trip to the National Museum of Women in the Arts which is located near Metro Center and is "the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts" according to their website.

 

They display and preserve a collection of over 5,000 objects by about 1,000 different female artists, and the art dates from the Renaissance period to now. Unfortunately, I only got to see a couple of the exhibits when I went because they were actually in the process of setting up for a wedding (which looked amazing), so some areas were closed off.

 

What I did get the chance to see, though, was really incredible, especially the exhibit called Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today. The exhibit featured pieces by twenty-one black female artists from multiple generations.

 

Mary Lovelace O'Neal painting

"Racism is Like Rain, Either it's Raining or it's Gathering Somewhere" by Mary Lovelace O'Neal

 

I particularly enjoyed the piece (pictured above) by the artist Mary Lovelace O'Neal, who was born in 1942 in Jackson, Mississippi. It's a large piece that makes you feel dwarfed as you stand in front to admire the colors and movement in the brush strokes. I find the artist's intent to symbolize a more universal human experience and to demonstrate that racism permeates everywhere an extremely powerful and important mission.

 

Maren Hassinger sculpture

"Wrenching News" by Maren Hassinger

 

Another piece of the Magnetic Fields exhibit that I enjoyed was created by Maren Hassinger in 2008. It is made of shredded and twisted pieces of New York Times newspapers to recall the events and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina particularly affected the African American neighborhoods in New Orleans in 2005. The work is meant to start a conversation about current struggles and global issues related to democracy, climate change, and poverty. It also made me consider the ways in which we receive our news; 2005 was twelve years ago and nowadays more people are choosing online articles over print. It's interesting to consider how things have changed.

 

I've always loved art and visiting art museums; art provides the opportunity to creatively explore challenging topics like racism, religion, politics, current events, diversity, identity, and so much more. And as a feminist, I loved going to a museum that features and celebrates female artists even more.

 

Representation matters and providing female artists an exclusive space to display their art is important and valuable. I left the museum thinking deeply about what it means to be a woman and feeling very empowered. I encourage people of all genders and identities to check out the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

 

What if Women Ruled the World

"What if Women Ruled the World" by Yael Bartana

 

And, when you go, consider the question: "what if women ruled the world?"

 

Kelsey

 

Read Kelsey's previous blog posts

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More